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The Nurse' Responsability in the Prevention of Medical Errors - Essay Example

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The Nurse' Responsibility in the Prevention of Medical Errors Author Institution The Nurse’s Responsibility in Prevention of Medical Errors Introduction The admonitions “First, do no harm,” paraphrased from the Hippocratic Oath, has since memorial been the steering principle for medicine and the delivery of healthcare around the world…
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The Nurse Responsability in the Prevention of Medical Errors
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Download file to see previous pages In its report titled To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System (2000), the Institute of Medicine (IOM) noted that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die annually in U.S. hospitals owing to preventable medical errors. A medical error infers an adverse event that can be avoided given the current state of medical knowledge. IOM working definition of medical error details the failure of a planned action to be concluded as proposed or the application of a wrong plan to attain the aim. Errors in this sense incorporate problems in practice, products, procedures, and systems. There is no single unanimously acknowledged method of classifying medical errors. However, there are five distinct categorizations of medical errors. These include forms of healthcare given such as medication, surgery, and diagnostic imaging; severity of the injury encompassing minor discomfort, death, and serious injury. Other categorizations include legal definitions of issues such as negligence and malpractice; the setting encompassing hospital, emergency room, nursing home, and intensive care unit, and persons involved such as a physician, nurse, pharmacist, and patient. Medical errors impede therapeutic outcomes and can cause severe illness or death. In addition, medical errors may lead to litigation against healthcare providers. Causes of Medical Errors The core causes of medical errors are multifaceted, and no single factor can be demarcated to be the principal origin of medical errors. However, medical errors mainly flow from factors like communication errors; for example, misinterpretation of the doctor’s prescription may lead to instances of medication mix-up, where the administered drugs detail closely similar names. In addition, medical errors may emanate from human errors stemming from overwork and burnout. Some medical errors are attributable to the long working hours that medical professionals cover. The onset of managed care has heralded the reduction of size of nursing staff, while compelling others to work mandatory overtime shifts. Other causes include increasing specialization and fragmentation of the healthcare sector. The number of people involved in patient’s treatment is commensurate with occurrences of medical errors. Furthermore, medical errors emanate from manufacturing errors, equipment failure, diagnostic errors, and poorly designed buildings and facilities (Westrick & Dempski, 2009). Steps or Measures that Nurses can take in order to Prevent Medical Errors Healthcare professionals such as nurses should guarantee the quality of treatment, although a significant share of responsibility lies with patients in avoiding medical errors. The single most significant way in which nurses can aid in prevention of medical errors is being active members of their healthcare team. Healthcare providers must work successfully in collaborative teams in order to enhance patient safety. Nurses should adopt stricter standards of acceptable error rates. This will be crucial in making significant strides in enhancing safety and minimizing error. The commitment towards enhancing the quality of medical care and associated processes is one of the steps that nurses should adopt to reduce errors. Nurses should also report medical errors in order to improve the process. Reporting of medical errors plays a crucial role in abating further errors ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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